Wait for it. Wait. At some point during a performance or recording by the trio known as The Thing, the band attempts to rip your face off, beginning with your ears. It's been that way since they were founded in 2000. The Swedish/Norwegian free jazz/garage band have become a kind of jazz/punk royalty, cutting huge swaths into jazz conventions without ignoring jazz traditions. Yeah, their apparent contradictory nature is part of the attraction.
Of the remaining two tracks, "Sur Face" was penned by Gustafsson and "Vicky Di" by Håker Flaten. The saxophonist's lengthy piece, a twenty-one-plus minutes, fluctuates between a barroom clearing attack and pacific passages. The trio chart a course through quiet/loud and loud/quiet, moving from energy jazz to heavy rock and back. Håker Flaten's "Vicky Di" has the bassist switching to electric to match the force of Nilssen-Love's skins and Gustafsson's tenor. This allows him to switch his guitar to thrash and, as the MC5 say, "kick out the jams motherf#ckers."
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